In July of 1994, 21-year-old Angel Maher was about to begin her senior year at Creighton University. Before doing so, however, she made the 1,300 mile drive from Omaha, Nebraska, to her Scottsdale, Arizona, home to celebrate her mom’s birthday. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but instead it became one of tragic and awful irony.
Around 10:00 p.m. on the evening of July 29, a friend phoned Angela, asking for a ride home from a neighborhood bar. Angela had told her friend to call her if she had had too much to drink. As Angela left to pick up her friend, she told her mother not to wait up for her.
Half an hour later Rose Maher heard a knock on her door. She at first thought Angela had returned and had forgotten her house key. When she answered the door, however, her heart sank.
Standing on the doorstep was a policeman with a look of dread on his face. He informed Rose that her daughter had been killed in a car accident.
The awful irony of Angela’s death was soon learned. The young woman who took it upon herself to be the designated driver had, tragically, been killed by a drunk driver. The ultimate injustice, however, is that her killer remains in hiding over a quarter of a century later.
As Angela departed her home, 31-year-old Gloria Schulze stumbled out of a local bar, egregiously inebriated. Moments later, the two women’s vehicles engaged in a violent crash.
Paramedics arrived quickly on the scene, but by the time they were able to cut Angela from her car, it was too late. She was dead from massive blunt force trauma to her head resulting from the injuries sustained in the accident.
Schulze, however, survived the accident relatively unscathed, suffering only a broken jaw.
When police arrived at the scene, she was lucid enough to be questioned and admitted to having drunk alcohol. Later tests showed her blood-alcohol level to be nearly double the legal limit for driving in Arizona. A urinalysis also detected traces of marijuana, although it could not show definitively whether Schulze had been stoned at the time of the accident.
As inebriated as Schulze was, she had had the sense to put on her seat belt. Angela had not been wearing hers.
In high school, one of Angela’s friends had been killed while driving drunk. Afterward, Angela established her high school’s S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Driving) program. She organized several fundraisers and presentations at which she talked about drunk driving accidents.
Furthermore, Angela resolved to be a “designated driver.” When she and her friends painted the town, Angela always refrained from drinking to ensure that everyone would get home safely. She also insisted her friends promise her that if they had had too much to drink, they would call her to give them a ride home.
The phone call Angela received on the evening of July 29, 1994, was from a friend who knew she had had too much to drink. She remembered Angela’s order and called her.
Gloria Schulze didn’t have much sense. In a bitterly “sad” irony, Angela, the crusader against drunk driving, had become a drunk driving victim.
On May 13, 1995, the day Angela would have graduated from college, Creighton University awarded her a posthumous honorary diploma. Her mother Rose accepted the diploma on her behalf.
Gloria Schulze was charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment. At her arraignment, she was represented by a prominent attorney experienced in handling drunk driving cases. The attorney persuaded the judge to release Schulze under her own recognizance. The judge stipulated that Schulze was to submit to pretrial drug testing three times a week and report to the court by telephone once a week. Schulze, did not, however, have to post bond or surrender her driver’s license.
Schulze’s attorney asked, and was granted, six postponements for her trial over the next eight months. In addition, the prosecutor and judge originally given the case were reassigned.
In August of 1995, just over a year after Angela’s death, Schulze was offered a plea bargain. If she waived her right to a trial and plead guilty to reckless endangerment and manslaughter, she would serve a reduced sentence. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for September 15, 1995.
But Gloria Schulze had other plans.
Because of the drunken Gloria Schulze’s decision to get behind the wheel of her car, Angela Maher is now only ashes. Even the sobered Schulze’s decisions, however, stayed shameful.
Schulze was a no-show for her court date in September of 1995 and has been a no-show for nearly a quarter-century. In 2001, she was convicted in absentia of manslaughter with sentencing to be imposed upon her capture. Eighteen years later, the sentence has still not been enforced.
Schulze comes from a family of means, and police believe relatives have helped her elude capture. Authorities believe Schulze lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for several years after fleeing. In the last 17 years, reports have placed her with family in California, Michigan and even abroad in Turkey. Despite the sightings, Schulze has managed to stay one step ahead of the police.
Gloria Schulze remains at large a quarter-of-a-century after claiming the life of Angela Maher. She is now 55-years-old.
If you believe you have any information on the whereabouts of Gloria Schulze, please contact the Scottsdale, Arizona, Police Department at 480-312-5000.
The obvious lesson of this awful story is to not drink and drive. The secondary lesson is that a motorist should always wear a seat belt. As inebriated as Gloria Schulze was, she had the wherewithal to put on her seat belt and it probably saved her life.
Angela was not wearing her seat belt; wearing it may have saved her life.
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More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:
Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)
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